3:31pm: The Grizzlies have agreed to a trade that will send Jarell Martin and cash to the Magic, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Memphis will acquire Dakari Johnson in the deal. Joshua Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel adds (via Twitter) that the Grizzlies will also receive the draft rights to 2015 second-rounder Tyler Harvey.
It’s the second time in the last week that Johnson has been traded. On Friday, Orlando acquired Johnson and cash from the Thunder in a deal that sent Rodney Purvis and his non-guaranteed contract to Oklahoma City. The move was a purely financial one for the Thunder, who figure to replace Johnson on their roster with a slightly cheaper rookie, reducing their projected tax bill.
Because Johnson wasn’t in the Magic’s plans, they’ll flip him to Memphis in another deal that has cap implications. The Grizzlies are right up against the luxury-tax line, so exchanging Martin and his $2,416,222 salary for Johnson ($1,378,242) will create a little extra breathing room for the club. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Grizz waive Johnson after acquiring him.
Martin, who was in danger of being cut by the Grizzlies last fall, had a strong camp and earned a spot in Memphis’ rotation for the 2017/18 season. In 73 games (36 starts), the 6’10” forward averaged 7.7 PPG and 4.4 RPG with a .446/.347/.767 shooting line.
Having played primarily at power forward last season, Martin likely would’ve seen his role reduced in Memphis this year — JaMychal Green, Kyle Anderson, Chandler Parsons, Omri Casspi, and Jaren Jackson Jr. could all see action at the four. It’s not clear whether the 24-year-old will get more opportunities in Orlando, with Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac expected to earn most of the power forward minutes.
Johnson, 22, was selected by the Thunder with the 48th overall pick of the 2015 draft but didn’t sign his first standard NBA contract until 2017. The seven-footer appeared in 31 games last season for Oklahoma City, averaging 1.8 PPG and 1.1 RPG in just 5.2 minutes per contest.